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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

The hopes of capturing another outdoor championship lied on the shoulders of a freshman.

Arman Hall anchors the men’s 4x400m relay – the final event of every NCAA championship meet. As a 19-year-old competing at the historic Hayward Field for the NCAA Championships, Hall wasn’t influenced by the pressure of competing on a big stage.

“I don’t think it was too intimidating for me,” Hall said. “It just made me excited. Again, I’m a freshman, and I made it to the finals. To help my team out to win a national championship for the second year in a row is a great feeling.”

Hall was at the center of the now infamous Texas A&M baton drop. He was issued a sizable lead to maintain in the final lap. All he had to do was maintain it.

“The only thing on my mind was winning,” said Hall. “I saw A&M drop the stick from first leg to second leg. All I had to do was win it for my team.”

He did just that, ending the competition with a season-best finish for the men’s 4x4 squad.

At the start of the season, Hall wasn’t anchoring the event.

But he was destined to, according to coach Mike Holloway.

“He’s my fastest quarter-miler,” Holloway said. “When he walked on campus, he wanted to be the anchor man. Indoors, he was a little dinged up. Outdoors, I anchored Dedric Dukes because he had more experience and was healthier. I said (to Hall), ‘When you’re ready to anchor, let me know.’ After the Texas Relays, he said he was ready. He’s been on ever since, and I think people saw why.”

Aside from his speed, Hall’s poise is one of the main reasons why he anchors the 4x4 as a freshman.

Hall, Dukes and Hugh Graham Jr. grew up in South Florida and competed at world tournaments together.

“We all knew how it felt to be on a big stage – three of us were on the world team,” Hall said. “Going on the world circuit really helped me with the 4x4 anchoring and being on the big stage itself.”

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Hall attributes his success at UF to Holloway’s hands-on coaching style.

“Coach Holloway is the main reason I came here,” Hall said.

“He takes his time to help us train and (explain) the race model he wants us to do. He makes sure we’re in our comfort zone when we run.”

It seems Hall is pretty comfortable anchoring the 4x4.

With the NCAA track and field season officially over, and the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships one week away, there’s only one thing left on Hall’s mind.

“All I know is that we’re getting rings,” he said.

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